Public Library Boards in Iowa

Library board roles

Public library boards have five primary roles:


1.  Advocate for the library in the community 

     Library advocates work for better library services in the community, including:

  • obtaining adequate library funding
  • meeting with community groups
  • working with the mayor and city council
  • making board decisions that meet the needs of the community


2.  Plan for the future of the library

     The community entrusts the board with:

  • planning the library's future
  • planning to meet community needs

3.  Monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the library to ensure the library is:

  •  fiscally responsible
  •  providing customer satisfaction

4.  Set library policies and monitor the effectiveness of these policies 

  • carefully designed, broadly stated, written guidelines for actions and decisions of the library
  • library staff carries out the adopted policies on a day to day basis

5.  Hire and evaluate the library director 

  • The board hires a qualified director to manage the day-to-day operations of the library 
  •  The board regularly evaluates the director to ensure the library operates well and is best  serving the community